Yuvraj: Ask great selectors on Dhoni's T20 World Cup selection

Yuvraj Singh, who quit international cricket in June, believes there is a need for better selectors who will back players in the longer run.

Yuvraj Singh said in terms of modern-day cricket the current selectors are not up to the mark.   -  Vivek Bendre

The M.S.K. Prasad-led selection committee has often drawn flak from former cricketers for their approach. And the latest to join the list is former India batsman, Yuvraj Singh.

Yuvraj, who quit international cricket in June this year, believes that there is an absolute need for better selectors, who will be able to back its players in the longer run.

READ | Yuvraj calls for players association for current Indian cricketers

“We do need better selectors, for sure. Selectors’ job is not easy. Whenever they select 15 players, there will be talks that what will happen to the other 15. It’s a difficult job but their thinking in terms of modern-day cricket is not up to the mark. It’s my opinion,” Yuvraj -- who has recently signed up for the Abu Dhabi T10 league -- told a select group of reporters during an interaction on Monday.

In the past questions have been raised on the selection policies, and Yuvraj feels that it is important to give the players a longer rope.

“I am always in favour of protecting the players and being positive about them. By talking negative about your players and team doesn’t show you in true light. The character only shows when things are going wrong and you motivate the players. We definitely need better selectors,” Yuvraj said.

Though the newly-appointed BCCI chief, Sourav Ganguly, has hinted that there could be changes in the selection committee, there is no clarity.

In the old constitution of the BCCI, the selectors had a tenure of four years, but the amended constitution -- which has come into effect now -- has a provision of a maximum five-year term.

While Prasad and Gagan Khoda were appointed in 2015, Jatin Paranjpe, Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi were appointed in 2016. So, going by the amended constitution, Prasad and Khoda's term would end in September 2020, while the other three could have two more years left.

Back players

The former cricketer is also of the opinion that even the team management needs to back the players, even if they are going through rough patches.

READ | Reality check for Rohit Sharma and Team India

“Everybody has to be supportive towards the players. Jeet rahein hain toh yeh haal hain, haar rahe hote toh kya hota (This is the state when we are winning, wonder how it would be if we were to lose)? Here, when you lose nobody tells you anything but when you win, people start talking. The support staff and the selectors need to be supportive of their players,” Yuvraj said.

The current selection committee has failed to identify a batsman for the No. 4 spot and that’s something which hurt the Indian team in the World Cup -- where the team crashed out in the semifinals.

“We need to find a No. 4. We actually need to find No. 4 and respect the No. 4 batsman and give him a longer run. Every day some No. 4 is batting and we have some loose statements about that player. After me, it was (Ambati) Rayadu, who played for whole year, then he got drooped last minute, now Rishabh (Pant) played well at No. 4 and there are remarks about him that he is not doing well, so how are you going to find a No. 4 bastman?” Yuvraj questioned. “You are not going to find a No. 4 by criticising or dropping him, you have to support these young guys whether it is Rishabh or Shreyas (Iyer) or any other batsman.”

Having played international cricket for nearly two decades, Yuvraj also believes that Pant should be given more opportunities so that he can settle down. “I do see him on top of the order. He is a good No. 4, No. 5. Obviously, people don’t realise that Rishabh was an opener. He always wanted to open the innings and he would go big, opening. He is not the guy who knows how to rotate strike and then go big. He is trying to do that. That’s why, you need to give him time. He is not a middle-order batsman straightaway. He is changing his game, we got to give him some time,” the former India cricketer said.

The idea of team management to drop Pant for the Tests against South Africa too hasn’t gone down well with Yuvraj. “He has only played 8-10 ODIs, so you got to give that guy a bit of time. You’ve to back your guys and say: ‘Okay, we’ve got to give this guy six months or a year to get better and try and play him as much as you can, wherever you think he fits well and play.' Him not playing the Test match was not a great call, somebody who has scored two international 100s outside India and has scored two 90s against West Indies, I don’t understand,” Yuvraj said. “His keeping could have been a concern but I think you got to groom young guys better.”

On Dhoni's future

It has been four months since Mahendra Singh Dhoni last featured for India. While there is no clarity on his future, the chairman of the selection committee, MSK Prasad, last week said that would back the young guns more.

Asked whether Dhoni should be part of the Indian team for next year's T20 World Cup, Yuvraj said: "I don’t know. You should ask your great selectors, when you meet them. That’s their call, not mine..."